Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
06/26/12 9:13 am EST

Looking back upon the 2011-12 season, it is somewhat difficult to grade Thaddeus Young’s fifth season with the Sixers’ franchise.  While he performed his role well and played very solidly throughout the season, you can’t help but be left with the feeling of wanting more from the lanky lefty. 

Since the Sixers selected Thad in 2007 after just one successful season at Georgia Tech, Philly has kind of been waiting for him to come into his own.  The raw skills were obvious immediately, and after a sophomore campaign in which he started 71 games for the 7-6 and averaged a promising 15 points per, he seemed poised to push the team, and himself to the next level. 

The next couple seasons however saw Young relegated to a role on the bench, and while still productive, many felt that he was not quite living up to his potential.  2011-2012 saw similar inconsistencies from Young, who could often go from anemic to incredible in the same game.  While his numbers didn’t dip, 12.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg this season, compared to 12.7 and 5.3 last year, they didn’t improve either, which is what you look for in a promising young player.  In fact, Thad’s numbers have only fallen since that promising second season; not a great sign for Sixer fans hoping they had found a starting 4 for the future. 


Although improved defensively, his size is still an issue, as it has been for most of his professional career.  At 6’7,’’ 220 pounds Thad is stuck between positions; a little undersized to bang with some of the bigger bodies at power forward, yet not quite nimble enough to mix it up with some of the premier perimeter players such as LeBron James or Kevin Durant.  His frame isn’t his fault, but it limits how the Sixers can use him on the defensive end, as this was exposed and exploited several times in the Sixers’ playoff series this season against both the Bulls and the Celtics.  In these series, rookie Lavoy Allen took a chunk of Thad’s minutes because he is better built to bang.  On the glass the Sixers fare almost exactly the same whether Thad is on or off the court, and with his length and athleticism, it seems as though this should be an area where he has room to improve.

The effort is there, evidenced by Young’s developed proficiency at drawing charges (Young was 7th in the League with 30 drawn), but after five seasons he is still limited in what he offers to the organization on that end of the floor.  He can guard multiple positions, which is a nice asset, but he still doesn’t possess the ability to defend one position extremely well. 

It is on the other side of the floor however, offensively, where the Sixers have come to expect output from Young, and while he may not have exceeded expectations in 2011-2012, he didn’t fail to deliver either.  For the season Thad averaged a solid 12.8 points per game, almost identical to his output from the previous season, while leading the Sixers in field goal percentage at over 50% and providing consistent bench production.  One area Thad showed vast improvement in was a new found consistency in his previously shaky midrange game.  He may in fact have relied on his mid-range game a little too much, as jumpers accounted for over 53% of his total shot selection; a sign that maybe he is not taking the ball strong to the hole as much as you’d like to see from your power forward.  Young was efficiently offensively to say the least, but with so much talent fit into his frame it is a little alarming to see players such as Kris Humprhies or Nikola Pekovic out-producing Thad with less tick taken. 

Overall Thaddeus had a solid season; nothing spectacular, but his improvements on the defensive end as well as his offensive abilities make him a critical cog to the Sixers squad.  His physical stature imposes a ceiling 0f sorts on his game, but it would be nice to see him bulk up a little in the off-season in order to better crash the boards and battle with other bigs.  The numbers were again solid, but the lack of a marked improvement is an issue.  Hopefully Thad continues to expand his game, as he is locked down for the foreseeable future.

For 2011-2012, Thad receives a B for a season that was solid, with flashes of brilliance, but too inconsistent and thus not exceptional (A grade). 



10 Responses to “REPORT CARD: THAD YOUNG”

  1. steve
    26. June 2012 at 10:10

    Thaddeus Young is 6ft 5.75inches tall, those were his combine numbers.

    He is a small forward.

    Holiday and Thaddeus for Lowry+16th pick

    Thaddeus+#15 for Josh Smith+ Atlanta’s #23

    something like that

  2. Adam
    26. June 2012 at 17:16

    Those are both idiotic trade ideas. Philly would never do the first one and Atlanta would never do the 2nd one. Get a clue Steve.

  3. matt.G
    26. June 2012 at 18:40

    I would love for us to keep iggy, trade thad for Paul millsap . Then replace thad with either Perry Jones , or terrence Jones

  4. Salis
    26. June 2012 at 20:37

    Wow steve I never knew he is 6’5 6’6 without shoes thats crazy!!!! Wonder why he gets neutralized when we play good defensive squads

  5. ken
    26. June 2012 at 21:52

    im confused about not being nimble enough bc hes one of our fastest players if not the fastest player on our team so when you say nimble do you mean defensive quickness? bc that can be improved if the sixers were commited to playing him at sf a majority of the time but this team for some reason like to have tweener players. This year the sixers gota pick either pf or sf for thad and seriously develop him there so he can finally develop instead of staying a mediocre starter/good bench player

  6. Adam
    27. June 2012 at 10:20

    Thad is somewhat of an enigma…. He plays great against bench 4s, but hes almost useless in the playoffs when the teams have better and bigger big men. Which was painfully obvious based on his terrible playoff performance.

    Thad probably hasnt played the 3, at all, since eddie jordan was the coach. I dunno if he can play that spot cause he cant defend there, and hes a terrible ball handler at that spot.

    Hes also making way too much coin…. Prob needs to be traded for an expiring and a mid-late first rd pick.

  7. Jeff C
    27. June 2012 at 12:02

    Somebody help me out here. I am a Knicks fan, but I have come to the sixers blog to inquire as to why everyone talks about iggy like they need to get rid of him. Seeing tweets about trading him for the 7th pick. I don’t get this.

    He is easily the best player on your team, right? He had the second best assist to turnover ratio in the NBA, and was the only guy in the top 50 who isn’t a PG. He has one of the highest IQs in the game, and is a ridiculous athlete and defender.

    No he can’t carry the scoring load, and i guess a lot of people expected him to after the big contract, but regardless, he is a great player and is the number one reason that the sixers have been any good since they signed him.

    Yet everywhere i turn i see philli writers talking about the best way to ditch him.

    Someone explain philli people’s mentality here, please, because I still don’t get it.

  8. Salis
    27. June 2012 at 12:58

    Thad,has to,play the 3 he gotta work on hia small forward skills….The last 2 postseasons against he’s been shut down he cant play 35 minutes a night at the 4 because,he cant rebound or play D one om one….He’s a great help defender but he cant play major minutes Doug Collins recognized that when we played Boston…

  9. John
    27. June 2012 at 18:10

    Jeff, as a sixers fan, I am also against trading igoudala but I do see the logic for it. I do not agree that he has a high basketball iq. Yes he is a great defender and attacks the basket strong, but his game depends too much on his athletic ability.. Look at the original ai, the man was loaded with talent/ athletic ability but as he became his fading atheletic abilities took him out of the elites in the game. Igoudalas game declines as his contract increases. Sixers can get more money for free agency and they get youth with a pick

  10. Jon
    28. June 2012 at 01:35

    Jeff, as a lifetime Philly sports fan, I can tell you that Philly fans often don’t appreciate who we have. We love to call our best players bums and often only people from other cities appreciate our best players. It happens in all our teams. It’s who we are as fans and it won’t change.

    The major exception is players that play with such extreme heart that it can’t be helped to be loved (Dawkins, Iverson).

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